RAD Self-defense Systems Review

HPIM3154Last night was my last official RAD class at my alma mater and I thought I would share my experience with those of you who might be looking for a self-defense class to take.  Just remember that these are only my thoughts and programs will vary at different locations.  So, check out the RAD Systems website to find a class near you so that you can form your own opinion.

First, RAD is an incredibly popular program with a presence on virtually every college campus in the US and Canada.  It is usually free or very low cost to attend and once you graduate, you are given a certificate to return to any class throughout the US or Canada without any additional charge.  They also require that all men involved be law enforcement officers or submit to a thorough background screening.

Because RAD is typically offered on college campuses, you can expect to have a lot of young, enthusiastic gals in your class and the one I attended was no exception.  Over four short training sessions, we bonded and cheer each other on through various scenarios.  The instructors were friendly and not the least bit intimidating or egotistical.

While I general found the class to be simple and easy to follow, I wasn’t totally impressed with the amount of practice time we were given or the time spent on teaching ground defense.  There were also some scenarios that were “off-limits” during the full-contact portion of the final night.  I found that frustrating since several of us wanted to practice ground techniques.

All-in-all I would list the pro and cons as follows:

Pros –

  • Easy to find classes and large network of instructors all over the US and Canada
  • Free or low cost to attend with the option to return to any class, any time, any where without additional charge
  • Very simple techniques that are similar to other systems


  • Not a lot of practice time esp on ground defense
  • Not a lot of time with padded attackers to practice various scenarios
  • Some scenarios were “off limits” and could not be practiced with the padded attackers.

Personally, I really enjoyed learning this new system.  It is very similar to other approaches and I will definitely be checking out other RAD programs in my area.  If you have taken a RAD class at your college or in your community, please feel free to leave a comment!  Was my experience similar to yours or did you have a totally different opinion about the classes you took?HPIM3155

If you are in the Denver area, be sure to sign-up for the new Girls Fight Back workshop being held at Spiral Yoga and Wellness tomorrow.  For more details, check out Erin’s post below!

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